Iran’s for­eign min­is­ter says no rene­go­ti­at­ing nu­clear deal

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS - By NASSER KARIMI and JON GAMBRELL

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s for­eign min­is­ter took to YouTube on Thurs­day to crit­i­cize Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threat to with­draw from the nu­clear deal, say­ing Iran will not “rene­go­ti­ate or add onto” the atomic ac­cord.

Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif’s video, which was also posted to Trump’s fa­vorite so­cial me­dia plat­form, Twit­ter, ap­peared to be tak­ing his mes­sage to the masses af­ter ear­lier speak­ing to news out­lets through­out the United States to de­fend the deal.

It came as Trump sig­naled he will with­draw from the agree­ment by May 12 if it is not rene­go­ti­ated and changed.

Those changes have in­cluded pro­pos­als to limit Iran’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram, which Tehran says it has as a de­fen­sive de­ter­rent.

The five-minute video shows Zarif be­hind his desk, de­liv­er­ing his mes­sage about the deal. He of­fers back­ground first be­fore lay­ing into Trump and crit­i­ciz­ing Europe for of­fer­ing “the United States more con­ces­sions from our pocket.”

“On 11 oc­ca­sions since, the U.N. nu­clear watch­dog has con­firmed that Iran has im­ple­mented all of its obli­ga­tions,” Zarif, who stud­ied in the U.S., says in Amer­i­can-ac­cented English. “In con­trast, the U.S. has con­sis­tently vi­o­lated the agree­ment, es­pe­cially by bul­ly­ing oth­ers from do­ing busi­ness with Iran.”

Zarif adds: “Let me make it ab­so­lutely clear once and for all: We will nei­ther out­source our se­cu­rity nor will we rene­go­ti­ate or add onto a deal we have al­ready im­ple­mented in good faith.”

There was no im­me­di­ate re­sponse from Wash­ing­ton.

The 2015 nu­clear deal be­tween Iran and world pow­ers saw Tehran limit its en­rich­ment of ura­nium and num­ber of spin­ning cen­trifuges, as well as hand over its stock­pile of ura­nium and re­con­fig­ure a heavy-wa­ter re­ac­tor so it couldn’t pro­duce plu­to­nium. In ex­change, Iran re­gained ac­cess to the global bank­ing sys­tem and could sell its oil again on the world mar­ket.

Air­plane man­u­fac­tur­ers, car­mak­ers and oth­ers rushed into Iran af­ter the ac­cord.

How­ever, some Western firms have grown in­creas­ingly re­luc­tant to en­ter the mar­ket, in part be­cause of Trump’s con­stant crit­i­cism on the cam­paign trail and from the White House on the deal.

As­so­ci­ated Press file photo

Iran’s For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif is in­ter­viewed April 24 by the As­so­ci­ated Press in New York.


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